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Flipping the Construction Management Class: Beneficial?

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

ConstDiv Technical Session 4 - Pedagogy & Accreditation I

Tagged Division

Construction Engineering

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Paper Authors


Rajarajan Subramanian Penn State Harrisburg

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Rajarajan Subramanian is currently working as an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Pennsylvania State University at Harrisburg. Previously, he worked for four years as Transportation Engineer at Maryland State Highway Administration. He earned his Ph.D. and master’s degree in engineering from the Department of Civil & Coastal Engineering, University of Florida. He has 25 years of experience with government, academia, and industry. He was a Senior Lecturer at Annamalai University, India, teaching civil engineering for about 10 years. He also worked in Linton Institute of Technology as a Senior Lecturer in Ipoh, Malaysia, for three years.

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Fazil T. Najafi University of Florida

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Dr. Najafi has worked in government, industry, and education for many years. He received his BS, MS and Ph.D. in civil engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. His experience in the industry includes work as a highway, structural, mechanical, and consultant engineer and construction manager for US government and private companies. He taught in the Civil Engineering Department at Villanova University, Pennsylvania, a visiting professor at George Mason University, and the University of Florida, Department of Civil Engineering and Coastal Engineering. He has published and presented more than 300 refereed publications. He has received numerous awards including a Senior Fulbright scholarship award, teaching awards, best paper awards, community service awards, and admis¬sion as an Eminent Engineer into Tau Beta Pi. His research on passive radon-resistant new residential building construction adapted in HB1647 building code of Florida Legislature. Najafi is a member of numerous professional societies and has served on many committees and programs, and continuously attends and presents refereed papers at international, national, and local professional meetings and conferences. Lastly, Najafi attends courses, seminars, and workshops, and has developed courses, videos and software packages during his career. His areas of specialization include transportation planning, Engineering and management, legal aspects, construction contract administration, Renewable Ener

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Flipping the Construction Management Class: Beneficial?

Flipping the class means changing the traditional style of teaching (via lectures) to facilitate self-learning through engaging the students. The students’ attention span is as short as 15 minutes; hence, the traditional lecturing does not promote effective learning. Sometimes, flipped class looks chaos when 50 or more students interact with each other to try to solve engineering problems to arrive at the right solution. Nevertheless, at the end of the class period, the number of students that learn the subject precisely improves a lot. Recently, flipping the classes has been used widely in all kinds of classrooms across the globe, whether it is K-12 educational institution or post-secondary educational establishment.

Construction Management is a course that cannot be taught by mere lectures only. It has a lot of definitions, principles, theories and hypotheses that need to be taught in 50-minute class setting. Given the fact that the attention span is short for most of the audience, it is difficult to create keen interest among students in the class for the whole 50 minutes’ period. Effective teaching is very difficult to incorporate in the classroom. Flipping the class to hands-on activities yields promising results. Hands-on activities can include exercises such as group discussion, Building Code review exercises, Shadowing Construction Managers at construction sites, working through construction management software and working on a mock construction project. This paper explores the different ways of flipping classes and their advantages and disadvantages through different case studies and the personal experiences of flipping classes for the past 20 years of teaching.

Subramanian, R., & Najafi, F. T. (2019, June), Flipping the Construction Management Class: Beneficial? Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32853

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